Vodafone - Systems Migration

Vodafone is one of the world's largest mobile telephone operators. Much of their radio network is managed, configured and maintained by the company. A number of critical software packages and large databases have been developed in house. These are used to support operations such as frequency allocation to radio masts or coverage planning and radio network maintenance.

Project Requirements
Vodafone needed to decommission over one hundred UNIX systems that were approaching their end of life. This was potentially a complex problem as each machine could be supporting a large number of applications, some of which were still in use and mission critical, others that were only occasionally needed and a small number that could be simply abandoned. Each system had a population of users each with their own login, each system had a list of printers and print queues. Many systems shared file system space either from other systems or shared space out to other systems. Some systems had licensed software which needed to be carefully asset maintained. All users and applications needed to be migrated to a new Sun cluster, and a high degree of continuity needed to be maintained with no downtime experienced by the user.

The Solution
Layer3 developed a series of scripts that could be remotely run by the admin teams on each system. This produced an analysis of the remote systems. Further scripts were then written that could look for indications of applications and find associated users, files, file shares, databases and print queues. This process generated a website that had a per system breakdown of results and a summary page. Finally procedures and automated processes were designed to carry out an automatic migration of the applications, users and their facilities onto the new Sun Cluster.

• Consistent systematic approach.
• Solving migration issues for a single application could be applied across all systems.(Saving £10,000-£35,000 per system)
• Decommission process was automatically and fully documented.
• Reduced manual searching and physical visits with automated network technique.
• Provided accurate measurement of progress at any given point.
• Decommission process was carried out on time and under budget. (Saved £15,000/day on project overrun)
• Systematic decommission guaranteed no expensive losses.
• Systematic license recovery - £850,000 in Unix application and development licenses.